IN THE MIRROR
You could be thin on the outside and fat on the inside, and not even know it. Let's find out what that statement means exactly.
WITH SO MANY NEW TECHNOLOGIES OUT THERE, ARE THERE ANY QUICK AND EASY WAYS TO GET RID OF FAT?
The answer to that depends on what type of fat you are referring to. Our body has internal fat and subcutaneous or external fat. External fat is easy to see and easy to remove. If your weight is above average, it's easy to see you have external fat and this can be easily and even permanently melted with today's technologies. It's the visceral fat, or internal fat, that you may have to worry about. The internal fat surrounds vital organs like the heart, liver or pancreas, often invisible to the naked eye.
These could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin. And it doesn't show on your bathroom scales or body shape, so you may not even know you have it.
HOW DO WE DETECT INTERNAL FAT?
The whole concept of being fat needs to be redefined. Being thin doesn't automatically mean you're not fat. Even people with normal Body Mass Index (BMI) scores _ a standard obesity measure _ can have surprising levels of fat deposits inside because a BMI score doesn't detect internal fat. Visceral fat is measured by volume rather than weight. Although, detecting visceral fat can be difficult and expensive as it usually requires imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs, reducing it can be accomplished with standard weight-loss tactics.
ARE THESE HARMFUL TO OUR HEALTH?
Visceral fats usually come from eating too many fatty, sugary foods and exercising too little to work them off. You may be thinking,: "Aren't those the same things that make me externally fat?" Well, sometimes people are eating unhealthy food, but not eating enough of it to actually be fat on the outside. Visceral fats may be toxic, as it may cause inflammation in the colon and the artery walls, and is a major cause of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Visceral fat can also affect moods by increasing production of stress hormones and reducing levels of feel-good endorphins. So, before it kills you, it can make you feel low. And when you're depressed, it can increase the risk of fat gain, so it's a vicious cycle.
WHAT ARE THE WAYS TO GET RID OF THIS FAT?
The good news is internal fat can be easily burned off through exercise or even by improving your diet. To reduce visceral fat, improve your eating habits. Food that is high in sugar should be avoided and healthy green salads, vegetables and fruits, lean meats and plenty of nuts and seeds should be eaten. These types of food have a high nutrition-to-calorie ratio. Exercise regularly.
Usually intensive cardio exercise is more effective than gentle exercise such as walking or jogging. Build muscles to increase your metabolism, and don't ignore sleep. People who do not sleep enough are more likely to gain weight.
YOU MENTIONED THERE ARE TECHNOLOGIES TO REMOVE EXTERNAL FATS. WHAT ARE THEY?
For non-invasive temporary procedures, we use cellulite machines to firm you up, tighten and smooth the skin. There are a few cellulite machines available that use ultrasound technology or radio frequency technology, or there is the latest and most popular machine called the Vella 2. This combines four energies to give the most effective treatment. While performing suction and drainage, the machine uses low level lasers to stimulate blood circulation and target fat while simultaneously using radio frequency to tighten the tissue.
More painful medical treatments are Carboxytherapy (CO2 injection) or mesolipolysis. These two treatments are similar and involve fat-loss injections in which we insert certain chemicals into the fat area to stimulate blood flow for skin elasticity improvement, localised fat reduction and collagen production stimulation. These procedures are a good alternative to liposuction for people who are not willing to go through anaesthesia.
Non-surgical permanent treatments include Zeltiq, UltraShape and Body Tite. Zeltiq and UltraShape offer permanent results in terms of inches lost. You can lose about 20% of your fat with Zeltiq or with multiple sessions of UltraShape. Body Tite (or Radio Frequency Assisted Liposuction) uses technology to burn and melt fat before removing it.
The best feature of this machine is that it is able to perform liposuction and tighten your skin at the same time, unlike normal liposuction or Vaser liposuction which sucks out the fat, but does not tighten the skin.
WHICH IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVOURITE?
Which technology works best depends on your condition. If I had to pick one, my personal favourite would be Zeltiq because it's easy, there's no pain and it only takes an hour.
If you want to remove more fat, you can always do it again. It is also likely to cost less than liposuction. Anybody with enough fatty deposits can benefit from this technology.
About the author
- Writer: Dr Nantapat Supapannachart